The word is out…

PHEW! It’s incredibly hard to keep good news under wraps, especially when it’s as big as Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris. And now, thank goodness, the word is out.

For nearly two months now, I have been part of the planning team working behind-the-scenes on this upcoming exhibition. As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, there are myriad details and tasks that need to be tended to before even a single work of art can go on view in our galleries—and this exhibition will include about 150 objects! In a best-case scenario, this work is completely invisible to you, the visitor. Hopefully, that will be the case with this show, too. But now, I get to tell you a little bit about what we’ve been up to while preparing to announce this huge, complex project publicly.

Normally, an exhibition of this scale (about half paintings and sculptures, and half drawings, prints and photos) would need several years of planning. There have been plans and negotiations at the highest levels here for about a year, but our planning began in earnest in December. We’ve been locking down the checklist (the list of works in the show), negotiating contracts with the Musée Picasso, planning the transportation and installation of the art, and a billion other details. Not “about a billion,” but exactly a billion. At least, that’s how it feels.

Between frantic meetings of SAM staff, international email exchanges with the Musée Picasso, communiqués with other museums, and after-hours sit-downs with local partners, 2010 has been a whirlwind already. Between all of these activities (and the attendant pressure and stress), what I’ve truly enjoyed has been looking at and considering Pablo Picasso’s unceasing creativity throughout his prolific career. Join me in this intellectual exercise—tell us which works you would be most excited to see here in Seattle. To help with your research, go to here is the website (hint: type “Pablo Picasso” in the Author field) –

For fodder, here’s my pick. I’m most excited by the idea of seeing The Studio at La Californie, a gorgeous Mediterranean-inflected canvas that could easily be confused for Matisse. What can I say, I love cross-fertilization.

Your turn – what would you most want to see in person?

Sarah Berman, Research Associate